Meet the speakers

Meet the our five climate change experts


Michael McCarthy – Environment Editor, The Independent (Chair)

Michael is the award-winning Environment Editor of The Independent. Three times named ‘Environment Reporter of the Year’ at the British Environment and Media Awards, he was also voted ‘Specialist Writer of the Year’ in the British Press Awards in 2001, and, in 2007, was awarded the medal of the RSPB for outstanding services to conservation – the only occasion in the medal’s 100-year history that it had been awarded to a journalist.

Michael has been writing about climate change for national newspapers for more than 20 years; he covered the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in full last year for The Independent, and will covering its successor conference in Cancun, Mexico, in November and December.



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Julian Rush – Science, Environment and Defence Correspondent for Channel 4 News

Whether it be environmental issues like climate change, GM crops and renewable and nuclear energy, or hard science subjects like bird flu, space exploration, nanotechnology, engineering, computing and the Internet, medicine and obesity, Julian's extensive experience means he is able to bring a unique insight and understanding to live events, seminars, panels, presentations and programmes about subjects that so often baffle but which affect us all.

Julian’s flair and enthusiasm for accessible explanation, investigation and analysis of the wide range of complex subjects he covers has been recognised with several major TV industry awards.

He's equally at home on the sofa as ‘bird flu boffin’ for Richard and Judy, at a party conference chairing a panel of MPs discussing carbon trading, or in a royal palace presenting to potential corporate sponsors details of the ground-breaking conservation technology proposed for the historic tea-clipper, Cutty Sark.

Adding the defence brief is a logical extension of the extensive reporting he has already done on issues like nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, Gulf War Syndrome, military strategy and the ethics of the arms trade.

Julian won the prestigious RTS Home News Awards in two consecutive years for his investigative reporting of the causes of the Paddington and Hatfield rail crashes. In 2004 he was short-listed again for an RTS award, this time for his exclusive report that exposed the government's ‘dodgy dossier’ on Iraq, plagiarised from a PhD student’s thesis.

He still wants to be the first TV reporter to broadcast from space.



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David Hone – Senior Climate Change Adviser in the Shell CO2 team

David joined Shell in 1980 after graduating as a chemical engineer from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. He initially worked for Shell as a refinery engineer in Australia and The Netherlands, before becoming the supply economist at the Shell refinery in Sydney.

In 1989 David transferred to London to work as an oil trader in Shell Trading and held a number of senior positions in that organisation until 2001. That year, David took up his current role.

David is a board member of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). He is currently vice chairman of the association.

He has worked closely with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and is lead author of its recent publications on climate change:

  • Energy & Climate Change: Facts and Trends to 2050
  • Energy & Climate Change: Pathways to 2050
  • Energy & Climate Change: Policy Directions to 2050

More recently, David has started an Energy & Climate Change blog, which can be found here.

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John Sauven – Executive Director, Greenpeace UK

Described by the The Times as a ‘suave political insider’, John Sauven trained as an economist before setting up his own printing company and working in publishing. He joined Greenpeace in the early nineties and has been Executive Director there since September 2007.

With a background in forests he was instrumental in getting protection for the Great Bear temperate rainforest on the west coast of Canada. It was an epic battle, fighting logging companies, timber traders and their retail customers in Europe and North America.

He also helped develop Greenpeace's "Greenfreeze" campaign (greenfreeze technology is now a global refrigeration industry standard) to protect the ozone layer from disappearing because of our use of CFCs and other ozone layer destroying chemicals. Recent highlights include leading activists in the invasion of the Land Rover factory – an action credited by the Financial Times with changing the 4x4 industry in the UK. John also famously bought a plot of land to in the path of the proposed Heathrow third runway.

John believes Greenpeace's ongoing work on solutions with companies may win fewer headlines, but the effort to evolve new, more sustainable business models is where the future will be won or lost. This is particularly the case with climate change where cleaner, more efficient products, processes and ways of producing energy need to be brought to market by government regulation and company innovation.



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Tom Burke – Founding Director of E3G and Environmental Policy Adviser to Rio Tinto plc

Tom Burke is a founding director of E3G – a non-profit promoting sustainable development. He is a currently an environmental policy adviser to Rio Tinto plc and a visiting professor at Imperial and University Colleges in London. He is a Senior Business Advisor to the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change. He is Chairman of the Editorial Board of ENDS magazine.

Tom has an impressive green CV: he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to chair an Independent Review of Environmental Governance in Northern Ireland between 2006 and 2007. He has also been a member of the Council of English Nature, and the statutory advisor to the British Government on biodiversity from 1999 to 2005, while in 2002 he served as an advisor to the Central Policy Group in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. He was Special Adviser to three Secretaries of State for the Environment, and before that served as Director of the Green Alliance.

A former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Environmental Bureau, Tom was also the Secretary-General of the Bergen 1990 Environment NGO Conference. He was a member of the Board of the World Energy Council’s Commission ‘Energy for Tomorrow’s World’ between 1990 and 1993. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Conservation International’s Centre for Environmental Leadership in Business in the US. In 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Energy Institute. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Carbon Disclosure Project. He is a Patron of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association and a Vice-President of Environmental Protection UK.

As for awards, in 1993 he was appointed to United Nations Environment Programme’s ‘Global 500’ roll of honour. In 1997, he was appointed CBE for services to the environment. He was awarded Royal Humane Society testimonials on Vellum (1968) and Parchment (1970).

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